In His First Speech, King Charles III Pledges Service to Britain

LONDON – Quickly donning the British monarch’s robes, King Charles III returned to London from Scotland on Friday, the day after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, to pledge that he would serve the British people “with the people of England” loyalty, respect and love, as I have all my life”.

The King’s Speech capped a day of national mourning across England, but it was also a living testament to the continuity of this constitutional monarchy. He met the new prime minister, Liz Truss, just four days after the queen anointed her at Balmoral Castle, in the last official act of her seven-decade-long reign.

Charles said in a television address it is at once solemn and deeply moving, a son’s mournful eulogy for his mother and a solemn oath of duty as a king.

Recalling Elizabeth’s vow, on her 21st birthday, to serve her people for the rest of her life, “long or short,” the 73-year-old king declared, “Me too, now Here I also solemnly pledge to myself, for the rest of my God-given time, to uphold constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.”

As king, Charles will no longer be able to plunge into charity work or the policy issues, like climate change, that have occupied him during his long wait for the throne. Instead, he will shoulder the sole burden of his mother: the royal symbol of Great Britain, but a largely ceremonial figure, strictly excluded from politics.

Charles’ ascension also marks a new chapter in the relationship between the head of state and the head of government – a chapter that under the queen extends back to Winston Churchill, her first prime minister. And it has given rise to a new royal style, led by a king who has signaled that he wants to reshape his family’s role in British life.

A glimmer of that new approach appeared on Friday afternoon when Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, arrived at Buckingham Palace. The king jumped out of his vintage Rolls-Royce to engage in some clearly democratic fun exchanges, more typical of a campaign politician than a member of the royal family. family.

To cry out “God save the king,” Charles shook hands, squeezed his elbows, and even accepted a kiss on the cheek from the stubborn iPhone-wielding people lined up outside the palace. Afterwards, he and Camilla lingered to admire the flowers and cards placed on the wrought-iron fence, before turning back into their new home.

Once inside, the king recorded his nine-and-a-half-minute speech in the blue living room, a photograph of the queen on the side desk. He made some news, bestowing his old title, Prince of Wales, to his eldest son and heir, William.

The king’s words were transmitted into the Church of St. Paul, echoes under its cavernous dome, where Britain’s political establishment gathered to serve the thanksgiving service to the queen, who died on Thursday at Balmoral, her summer retreat, in age 96.

The rituals are the beginning of 10 days of rituals that will leave some seducers and others hopelessly backward. This is followed by an Accession Council, convened on Saturday to formally designate Charles as king, followed by a manifesto, to be read from the balcony of the Friary Court by the King of Arms Garter. Funeral ceremonies will culminate with a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, the first since Churchill’s in 1965.

In London and other parts of the kingdom, it’s a day filled with tributes to the queen. The bell is located at St. Paul’s, Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle. Artillery roared in Hyde Park, the Tower of London, on the island of Jersey, and in the shadow of the Rock of Gibraltar. In the House of Commons, members stood in silence for a minute, a rare stillness that enveloped their often noisy room.

Opening her contributions to Parliament, Ms. Truss hailed the queen as “the nation’s greatest diplomat”. She recalls watching Elizabeth seduce a meeting of global business executives last year. Ms Truss said: “She has always been proud of England and has always embodied the spirit of our great country.

Prime Minister heralded the dawn of the new Carolean era, a phrase formerly used to refer to Charles II’s reign from 1660 to 1685. Praises Charles III’s commitment to issues such as environmental protection. school, she said, “We owe him our loyalty and our devotion.”

Her recently ousted predecessor, Boris Johnson, wittily noted that the queen had “dropped off her 14th prime minister,” after he submitted her resignation at Balmoral on Tuesday. “She was as radiant, knowledgeable and as passionate about politics as I ever remembered her,” Mr Johnson said of their leave.

Mr Johnson, now speaking from the backseat, recalled that at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, the leader of a Middle Eastern country asked if the queen had actually jumped out of a helicopter, despite a pink dress and parachute into the air. stadium – a memorable live stunt that cemented her status as a pop culture phenomenon.

Late in the afternoon, Mrs. Truss arrived at Buckingham Palace for her first face-to-face meeting with the king. Neither the palace nor Downing Street have released details of the session, although it’s not hard to imagine them discussing the energy crisis and soaring inflation that beset the country – the country’s toughest challenges. Mrs. Truss when she took the job.

If history has any guide, the relationship between the new king and Mrs. Truss will remain unclear. The Queen has never discussed the advice she gives her prime ministers, and prime ministers have been tight-lipped about what goes on during their weekly audiences at Buckingham Palace.

However, Charles has never been shy to voice his opinion on climate change, organic farming, architecture or other favorite issues. When candidates for Conservative leadership began to raise doubts in July about Britain’s ambitious goal of reaching “net zero” of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Charles was Join the debate, capturing record temperatures set during a heatwave.

He said in a statement: “Commitments around true zero have never been more important as we are all suffocating under today’s alarming record temperatures across the UK and Europe.

Given the monarch’s duty to stay out of politics, Charles will now have to keep those opinions to himself. But that doesn’t mean he can’t find ways to influence policies in private discussions with Ms. Truss, said Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at King’s College London.

Professor Bogdanor said: “He has more experience than this prime minister because he gets along with senior politicians for decades. “It’s the reversal of the position that the young queen took with Winston Churchill.”

Harold Hongju Koh, an American legal scholar who has taught at Oxford University, says the monarchy acts as a kind of “balance wheel” for the government, stabilizing the state’s ship if the rulers Its political leadership goes too far in one direction.

“Charles-Truss’s dynamics will certainly play out very differently from those of Elizabeth-Boris,” said Professor Koh, who teaches at Yale Law School. “The balance between the partners will certainly be affected somewhere else.”

For the king, the transition has also cemented his partnership with his wife, Camilla, who went public on Friday as the queen’s consort. It was a title her mother-in-law wished she had. When she marked 70 years on the throne last February, the queen anticipated this moment of transition. In a personal statement, she urged Britons to open up to Camilla, as did Charles.

“In the fullness of time my son Charles became King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support you have given me,” the queen wrote. “It is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own faithful service.”

That settled a delicate, longstanding question about how former Camilla Parker-Bowles will be known when Charles ascends the throne. The two were romantically involved before and during Charles’s marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales. He and Diana later divorced, and Charles married Camilla. He then pursues a subtle but persistent campaign to recognize her as a queen woman after he ascends to the throne.

In his speech, Charles said, “I count on the loving help of my beloved wife, Camilla.” But he saved his last words for his mother. Quoting from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the king said, “Flights of angels beg to sing you rest.”

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